Monday, February 18, 2008

About The Muse...

The Inspiration of St. Matthew, by Caravaggio, courtesy of

The relationship between an artist and his muse is as complex as the relationship between lovers. And a very unequal relationship at that… The play of distant admiration and intimate knowledge; nurture versus complete oblivion; give and take, rejection, acceptance… The muse, unreliable and fickle, and like a true diva, wants to be worshipped and taken care of with nothing in return, except for providing inspiration… Sounds almost like an abusive relationship, and well, it might as well be if the artist gives the muse more importance than she deserves. If he thinks his livelihood is dependant on her… The artist has to acknowledge that the muse is part of him. Part of his art. And it is the unpredictability from within, that unknown well of consciousness, connected to the far deeper conscious of the universe, that inspiration may spring.

As far as real-life muses go, my experience with them has mostly been that they are ungrateful for the most part… Perhaps being a muse makes the human ego explode to unmanageable proportions... Perhaps I just had bad experience… It might have been my dream all along to be a muse myself; a dream I have fortunately neglected as it is even more frustrating to engage in such a complex relationship with a mortal man than with a mythical, muse.

Perfumer Neil Morris, however, seem to have lucked in that field and have found himself a real, flesh-and-blood muse that loves him as well as the creations she inspired in him – enough to even promote them herself… The package from Ida Meister (AKA Chaya Ruchama) came in the mail unexpectedly, and I opened it in the post office, a bit at awe to have found out I received a kiss in the mail… Only than did I look at the name of the sender on the parcel and it made perfect sense. Chaya Ruchama has come trough as a passionate and warm lady online, and I hear her correspondence is not where her warmth ends.

Out of the 6 vials she sent me of Neil Morris “Vault” perfumes (which are NOT available via his website), two were perfumes that Chaya Ruchama took part in developing – the first one, Le Parfum d’Ida, a vintage aldehydic floral - she gave a helping hand unknowingly that this is going to be named after her… The second, Burnt Amber, has won me over immediately with its smoky resins and sweet amber that is decadently rich sans the tooth ache that accompanies so many current fragrances…

If it wasn’t for the cold I was suffering from I would have written more, but I would like to save it for another time when I could confidently comment on its development and notes. For now, all I can say is that despite my cold I am enjoying it tremendously and can’t wait to fully experience it. Hopefully by the time my cold leaves me alone there will be still some left in the vial…

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At February 20, 2008 6:25 AM, Blogger chayaruchama said...

How lovely, and unexpected.
[I'm glad you don't envision me as a massive ego with breasts, LOL...
I live in la vie quotidienne, just like you !
Dirty laundry still inhabits my world...!]

I'm so happy that Burnt Amber gives you comfort and pleasure...
That's what one hopes for- but our skins all 'pull' different elements to the foreground, and our olfactory perceptions vary so widely.

My favorite bit- ironically, most folks DON'T see me as a 'floral type'-
Is the plum blossom set atop the deep richness.
You don't expect it- which is why I wanted it there, but it marries happily with the rest of the composition.

Neil has such grace and intuition.
I'd love to see the two of you together.
[Actually- some day, i hope I get to wrap my arms aroun d you and Tamya, and cook for you both...]

Feel better soon, shayne maydele !

At February 22, 2008 1:33 PM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Chaya Ruchama,
Thank you again for the lovely surprise in the mail - and the kiss, oh my! :-D
Burnt Amber is beautiful. I can't say I'm able to recognize the plum blossom, but I can't remember if I ever smelled plum blossom before...
Nevertheless, Burnt Amber was my favourite of them all from Neil's vault... Though not the only one I liked :)
OH, I would love to taste your cooking and hope that one day I could just call you up and invite for dinner or tea... just like that, with snap of a finger, you real-life muse that you are, will be knocking on my door :)


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